Energy poverty in Africa
- An estimated 585 million people in sub-Saharan Africa lack access to electricity (The International Energy Agency)
- 9.8% of Malawians are connected to the energy grid. This is more than in South Sudan were the number is only 5.1%, less than in neighbouring countries Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania where 22.1%, 20.2% and 15.3% of the populations are connected to the national energy grid. (The World Bank)
- Families in the developing world spend as much as 25% of their income on kerosene for indoor lighting (The Energy Access Initiative at the UN Foundation)
When the sun sets across the African hinterlands, most or the activity in villages ceases. Shops close, business comes to an end, and streets are emptied. In order to do their homework, children either turn to kerosene lamps, candles or the dim illumination of street lamps.
Some 600 million people in rural Africa lack access to electricity. In Malawi, where 90% of the population is off the energy grid, an untapped resource is gaining relevance: an average of seven hours of sunshine per day. With improved solar technology and falling prices, the country, and the entire continent for that matter, might be ripe for a new technological jump.